Prof Kathryn J. Saunders PhD, FCOptom
Professor of Optometry and Vision Science
Kathryn trained as an optometrist at Cardiff University and Moorfield Eye Hospital. She received a PhD in Vision Science from Cardiff University under the supervision of Drs Carol Westall and Maggie Woodhouse. She is currently a Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland where she is Head of Subject for Optometry.
Kathryn’s research centres on visual development in infancy and childhood and, in particular, the impact of neurological impairment and developmental delay on visual outcome. Her work aims to better understand both the typical and atypical visual system and to improve the visual assessment, treatment and care offered to children and adults with developmental disability. She is particularly concerned with promoting a multi-disciplinary approach to vision care for those with neurological impairments and complex visual needs, encouraging functional assessments of vision and improving communication of results to parents and health and education professionals. She has lead the development of a web-based resource for those working with people with reduced vision, in particular children with special educational needs. The website provides downloadable images which give a guide to the size and detail of images that are suitable over a range of levels of vision. Visual acuity webpages
Professor Saunders has many years experience providing vision care for children with and without special needs including children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, complications of extreme premature birth and complex neurological disorders. Her paediatric and special needs clinic at the University offer vision testing for children with and without special educational needs and complex visual problems and patients travel from all over the island of Ireland to attend. Fun, child-friendly methods are used to look at children’s eyes and test their vision. If you would like to book an appointment for an eye test or would like more information please contact the Optometry clinic on 028 70123047.
Kathryn has received grants from the Northern Irish R&D Office, the Wellcome Trust, the College of Optometrists, the Nuffield Foundation, the Department for Education and Learning (DEL) and Causeway Local Health and Social Care Group. She has active research collaborations with many researchers and clinicians across nationally and internationally including Prof. Jonathan Jackson (Australian College of Optometry, Victoria), Dr. Maggie Woodhouse (Optometry and Vision Science, Cardiff University), Dr Nicola Logan and Prof. Bernard Gilmartin (Optometry, Aston University), Prof. Rowan Candy (Optometry and Vision Science, Indiana University, USA), Prof Ian Flitcroft (Ophthalmology, Children’s University Hospital, Dublin).
Kathryn is a Fellow and elected Council Member of the UK College of Optometrists, she sits on several regional and national multidisciplinary and interagency committees relating to optometry including the UK Vision2020 Learning Disability committee. Optometry Northern Ireland and the UK Vision Strategy Action Group on Children’s Screening for Visual or Vision Defects.
Prof Kathryn J. Saunders PhD, FCOptom/table>